Do newcomers have difficulty finding employment due to skills gaps?

In this business podcast, Anjana PV talks to Sumit Kumar, Chief Business Officer, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, about the downward trend being observed in the campus placement scenario in our country. The podcast explores the evolving landscape of employment and internship opportunities in India, with a special focus on the role of educational institutions and the need for adaptability in the face of industry change.

The conversation begins by highlighting a noteworthy development: the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM Kolkata) is actively seeking support from its alumni network to help provide internship and placement opportunities to its students. Sumit said that while this could be seen as a desperate move, it is a positive approach to the challenges facing the current job market.

The discussion indicated that new employment, particularly in the information technology (IT) sector, had slowed significantly. Various IT companies and start-ups have temporarily suspended their recruitment plans due to the prevailing uncertainty. The situation is worrying, especially in the case of graduates who are looking for their first job.

It also acknowledges the bleak situation in the IT sector and sheds light on the brighter side. Sectors such as telecommunications, retail, logistics and healthcare continue to actively seek employees. This means that the impact of labor market conditions is sector specific, with some areas remaining relatively resilient.

The employment landscape is not uniform across all fields of study. Engineering and IT disciplines appear to be more impacted by current labor market conditions. However, other sectors, including telecommunications, manufacturing and retail, are still actively seeking talent.

The podcast also provides detailed information on the impact of labor market fluctuations on pay packages. The impact on wages depends on specific skills and field of study. Specialized skills in areas such as green technologies and environment, social and governance (ESG) continue to command high salaries. This emphasizes the importance of choosing educational paths adapted to the changing requirements of the labor market.

Sumit emphasizes the key importance of both improving skills and using new technologies. Organizations must implement artificial intelligence (AI) and individuals should actively improve their skills to remain competitive and relevant. The consensus is that a lack of technological adaptability can hinder employment prospects.

The discussion focuses on the relationship between the quality of education and employability. It has been pointed out that learning gaps in the education system have a direct impact on students’ employability. Reports such as Acer’s 2019 report have highlighted these knowledge gaps, highlighting the need for improvement.

Sumit suggests three-way collaboration involving students, academia and industry as a way to address the skills deficit in the country. The goal of this collaboration is to create a sustainable talent supply chain. The podcast highlights the importance of industry-academia partnerships that evolve from simple guest lectures and industrial visits to more integrated programs tailored to labor market needs.

The podcast ends on an optimistic note, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive attitude towards learning and skill development, even in the face of challenges in the job market. Experts emphasize the value of being open to opportunities such as internships, which can play an instrumental role in building a diverse skill set.

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